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2nd Grade Report vs Wests - Round 3

Garratt century gives 2nd Grade the points  

Round 3 saw 2nd grade make the trip out to the Western Suburbs, where we were greeted by a gloomy morning and an interestingly sloped pitch. Despite the interesting conditions we warmed up well with the bowlers claiming a narrow 2-1 victory in a hotly contested game of fielding soccer, to be continued I'm sure. Unfortunately Ben was not able to come up trumps in the coin toss and we were asked to take to the field for the first 50 overs of the day.

C'mon... A photo please webmaster! To remember my 100 - Ben Garratt

This task was going to be harder this week, with the loss of Gareth 'Banger' Wright to promotion, but when the times get tough, the tough get going. And so Nick Medcalf took the new rock and provided the stability and control we were looking for early. Bowling a good line and length were crucial on what was a good deck to bat on, enter debutant James 'JC' Cambell. The clouds lifted and the temperature rose but JC was up to the challenge, tying down a threatening partnership and ultimately getting the well deserved break through. However, it wasn't just the batsmen that proved to be the only challenge, half the battle was waged between fielder and outfield. Ben Garratt making the remark that 'I'm going to run on everything today, good luck to them if they can pick it up'. The old saying of 'body on the line' was really tested by everyone; special mention must go to James Ledgerwood. Although he didn't get a chance to make his mark on the game with bat or ball he provided a great level of intensity with good attack on the ball and vocal support for the whole team. There's no doubt Ledge will come to the fore, a promising talent just gagging to have a good go at it.

Two players on the way up, James Kennedy and Nick Cheadle showed how devastating they will prove to be to any top order. When they get it together, anything can happen, providing great momentum for the side as a whole. Still room for improvement in the field from the Stags but then again that's not always a bad thing. We would have liked to keep West's to the 220-230 run mark given the stamp we made during the middle of the innings, but some late hitting saw West's reach 8-242 from their 50 overs. Well done again to our bowlers and support in the field.

The afternoon session saw our round one opening pair of Matt 'It's getting better' Jones and Blair 'Witch' Lindsay reunited. All present were witness to some vintage Matt Jones with at least two balls being clubbed, timing isn't really the word ' clubbed over the mid-wicket region. Like any true partner would, Matt was reminded that no matter how ugly it looks, it's all the same in the scorebook. Sadly Jones departed far too soon for my liking, but that's not to say the excitement was departing too. Ben Garratt took to the crease in a dramatic fashion with some glorious, lofted cover drives and otherwise good batting on a true deck. The look of surprise on his face after hitting West's captain for a big old six was one not to be forgotten. 'I just wanted to clear the infield and take two' ' far too modest Ben.

Vintage Garratt clearing the infield... and fence

Harry Evans and Ben saw the team through a trying period, forcing West's onto the back foot with some of the best batting I've witnessed. 'There's just not a run there' ' Matt Jones, sums up how well these two were running between the wickets with hardly a risky shot. Harry departed for a very well made 40, bringing fresh legs to the crease in the form of Elliot Richtor and a decidedly tired Ben Garratt. Elliot didn't give West's the chance to take any control away from our innings, picking up exactly where Harry left off. Many a deft touch through what would have been 1st slip helped to tick over the scoreboard, and provide a good chuckle for those in the grandstand. Speaking of those in the grandstand, the support was brilliant this week and is something that we can make a regular occurrence.

Thanks to the efforts of Ben, Harry and Elliot who left the crease for a quick and well made 25, the game was there for the taking. Fresh legs were again brought the crease, Nick 'wasted talent down the order' Medcalf came in with such speed between the wickets ' Luckily this week was a one day fixture, Ben was definitely out of puff. These two saw the Stags home, 4-243 and with 6 overs to spare.

A really good effort from every team member to take home the 6 points, well done lads.

Blair Lindsay


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